10 Tips To Building A Great Worship Set List

There are so many factors that go into building a great praise and worship set list.  I’ve listed 10 things below that might help you in this process.  Now, I’m not saying these are must do items, or that its the perfect list…but I do think these things are important and could really help.

Praise and Worship Set List Tips

1. Pray – Be diligent in your prayer life! If you’re not spending time in prayer about your worship ministry then you have no business leading worship!

2.  Know your audience – Who are you leading? Adults, children, youth, a men’s/women’s group? Know your audience. I know for me its easy to get caught up in putting songs in the worship set list that I like to play. That may miss the mark.  Be sensitive to who you are leading and build set lists that will set the ground work for that particular group to have an awesome worship experience, a true encounter with God.  Also, if you are guest-leading a group you know nothing about, set up a time to meet with the leader to ask questions that will help you know more about them.

3. Relax – Its OK to be nervous, but a true professional is one who covers his mistakes well.  Don’t let a mistake distract you to the point that it ruins a group’s worship experience. They probably won’t notice anyway.

4. Be transparent – Acknowledge that you are flawed. Mistakes can be a wonderful ice breaker, not only with the people you are leading in the band, but also with the congregation.

5. Worship – I want to be led by someone who isn’t afraid to both communicate with me and God. It’s a fine line between leading and worshipping, but isn’t that our calling, to lead people in worship as we ourselves worship?

6. Know your material – PRACTICE, PRACTICE, PRACTICE! My parents, if they told me once…you know the story. Being unprepared is one thing that can set up a worship experience for complete disaster.  Come prepared, and make sure your worship BAND is prepared.

7. Transitions – Transitions are too often overlooked.  Flowing from one worship song to the next is as important as the songs themselves.  One way to improve your transitions is to practice them in your rehearsals.  Let rehearsals be worshipful.  Letting the Spirit direct can lead to some amazing transitions.

8. Challenge yourself and your band – Don’t get stuck in a rut. I love songs from past era’s, but I don’t stay there. There are a ton of great new songs coming out today.  Some great new worship artists are Kristian Stanfill, Hillsong United, Jesus Culture, Starfield, just to name a few.

9. Be accountable – To your spouse, your pastor, an accountability partner. One thing I have done is enlisted a prayer group of about 20 people that pray over me and my ministry dates. They ask me the tough questions. They hold me accountable even when it hurts.

10. Have fun! – Worship is so much fun for me.  Take time to laugh with your team, your congregation and your leadership.  Worship is a HIGH calling and we need to take it seriously, but isn’t the “Joy of the Lord our strength?” Smile while on the stage, show people it’s a joy and a pleasure to worship God.


Again, this may not be the perfect list but it’s 10 items that I hope can help you in what you do.  If you don’t agree with everything I’ve said, post a comment, I’d love to hear from you.

I love you guys, and its a pleasure to serve you with this blog.  Get after it, get out there and let’s lead God’s people to that secret place, that holy throne room of our great Creator.

What does your worship set list look like?




  1. aportman says

    I completely agree with the praise and worship set list tips! I just had a meeting with our music, sound, and multimedia departments about praise and worship points, and almost fell out when I read down your list are discovered being that the points I shared were almost verbatim!

    Great Job!

    God Bless!

  2. Pfledba says

    Gary – great tips. I’m 60 years young and been leading for 30 years. We need to mentor the younger leaders this list of 10 tips goes a long way to do that.

    Bruce Pflederer
    Riverside Community Church
    Peoria, IL

  3. Corinaschmidt says

    Thank you Gary … I was put on stage at the age of 13 to lead worship and now i’m 45 .. :) have enjoyed every bit but  like u mentioned not to get stuck in the old music but look forward to new ones…im tryin and desperately wanting to mentor the younger leaders and this list of 10 tips will go a long way…can i print and use your list for my team.  I want them both to enjoy old and new and also at the same time push them deeper to Jesus.                 I’m corina (bangladeshi) from Bangladesh AG church.

  4. Melanieann_mendoza says

    thank you for your tips! it made me realize that i shoudn’t  be destructed/ discouraged because of my mistakes. God bless you and your family!

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